Friday, October 3, 2008
Marina Petra-Abdullah—Straight from the Heart
Marina Petra-Abdullah—Straight from the Heart
Posted by: dinobeano on: October 1, 2008
In: Democracy 16 Comments
source: www.malaysia-today.net (September 30, 2008)
Hari Raya Message From Kamunting, Perak
I just read my husband’s article on www. malaysia-today.net No Holds Barred and was extremely upset and it made my heart so heavy reading what Pet wrote:
“It costs RM8 to feed a dog according to the Malay Mail survey and only RM4.50 to feed ISA detainees…..I feed my cats and fish premium food such as science diet and would never dream of feeding my pets the food that we are fed here. I actually stopped eating the food here after the first couple of days because it gave me diarrhea. A couple of nights ago I vomitted after eating the food and now I cannot even stand the sight or smell of the trays that they sent to our cell twice a day. I now survive on dates and plain bread…..”
UMNO is preparing food for 200,000 people for their Open House at Putra World Trade Center for the First day of Hari Raya Aidil Fitri and what would the cost be per head?
How can Muslims of high authority use this unIslamic law, the ISA, on people during the month of Ramadan (the holy month for Muslims),put them under such barbaric conditions, and rehabilitate them according to their perverted standards. Where is the compassion, where is the humanity and, most important of all, where is the love of mankind that Islam enjoins its followers to observe? Can someone please explain all this to me? I am really very confused. All I can see is hypocrisy and man’s inhumanity to man, not compassion, consideration and common decency.
Jakim is coming up with an Islamic rehabilitation program for my husband, it is a joke. Did they even understand what Pet wrote in the first place since it is in English? What he wrote was not anti-Islam. The use of the ISA on Pet is all politically motivated. He has taken on powerful people and since the Prime Minister is weak, he is unable to use the powers that are available to bring justice. This is the tragedy of our country. Let us work towards a change in government, one that is committed to abolishing the despicable ISA. We want Rule of Law, not Rule by ISA.
I am in Kamunting today, staying the night so that I can be first in line to get into the prison. It pains the grandchildren, children and I to be without Pet on Hari Raya. We miss him and the joy that he brings to us each day.
Thanks for your support and prayers my family and I have received. We must continue this fight to free Pet and his friends under detention in Kamunting.
“Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf, Zahir dan Batin.“
Love from Pet and Family.
Bloggers at Badawi’s Eid Mubarak Open House in Putra World Trade Center
Posted by: dinobeano on: October 1, 2008
In: Democracy 13 Comments
Anti-ISA Activists at PM Open House
Andrew Ong | October 1, 2008
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi came face to face with at least 40 activists calling for the repeal of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the release of all detainees under the law.
MCPXA visibly amused Abdullah shook hands and greeted the activists at the Hari Raya open house in PWTC hosted by him and his cabinet ministers.Abdullah was smiling throughout as he shook hands and exchanged small talk with the activists, as his jittery bodyguards looked on.
“He asked how I was and remembered we met in August. I replied by saying ‘Please, please, please, please, please abolish the ISA,” said blogger and lawyer Haris Ibrahim.
Haris led a group of about 20 bloggers who wore T-shirts bearing ‘No to ISA’ and ‘Free RPK’ in reference to the two-year ISA detention of Raja Petra Kamaruddin.
These activists were soon followed by another bigger group from Hindraf - numbering some 200 and wearing bright orange T-shirts - who had wanted to deliver the same message to the premier.
However this second group’s effort was hindered by police who insisted that only a small number of them can be allowed to meet the prime minister up close. Subsequently about 20 of them met up with the premier.
Led by K Shanti, the wife of Hindraf leader in exile P Waytha Moorthy, the group handed Abdullah a teddy bear bouquet and a large Hari Raya card.
“I asked him when my husband could come back safely and he replied ‘so you are the chairperson’s wife’. He said that he would look into,” said Shanti.
Hindraf’s Hari Raya card however was badly torn after police tried to confiscate it at the entrance to PWTC. After a minor scuffle, the Hindraf activists managed to hang on to it.
“In the spirit of forgiveness during Aidilfitri celebrations, we wanted to express that the Indian Malaysians forgive him for sending Hindraf leaders to Kamunting,” added Shanti, when asked about the content of the card.
Both groups stressed that their activists did not eat any of the food offered during the event, which the government host annually, because their sole intention was to send a message to Abdullah.
Perutusan Eidulfitri 1429 Hijrah dari Anwar Ibrahim, Ketua Umum, Parti KeADILan Rakyat
Posted by: dinobeano on: September 30, 2008
In: Anwar Ibrahim 4 Comments
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,
Saya, mewakili keluarga dan segenap lapisan kepimpinan & akar umbi Parti Keadilan Rakyat ingin mengucapkan Salam Eidulfitri kepada umat Islam di Malaysia dan seluruh dunia amnya.
Ramadhan kini menghampiri penghujung, Syawal bakal menjelang tiba. Umat Islam selepas menunaikan ibadat puasa di bulan yang mulia ini pastinya menyambut kedatangan bulan Syawal dengan rasa penuh kesyukuran.
Bulan Ramadhan ini, sebagaimana yang diulaskan oleh para ulama, adalah madrasah terbaik buat melatih serta mendidik kita umat Islam agar berani dan yakin mendepani segala cabaran yang mendatang. Ramadhan sentiasa mengajar kita betapa kesabaran menjadi paksi kepada kejayaan hakiki dan memperkukuhkan kekuatan ruh serta jiwa. Ini kerana jiwa dan ruh yang membentuk manusia, seperti yang diungkapkan oleh Abul Fath al-Busti:
Perhatikan jiwamu, dan sempurnakan,
Kamu insan kerana jiwa, bukan kerana jasad.
Ramadhan pastinya mengingatkan kita akan kisah Pembukaan Kota Mekah(Fath Mekah). Kejayaan Rasulullah S.A.W yang didokong para sahabat baginda wajar menjadi teladan. Kejayaan tersebut sudah tentu tidak datang sekelip mata. Dua tahun sebelum kejayaan membuka Kota Mekah, satu perjanjian yang dikenali sebagai Perjanjian Hudaibiyyah telah dimeterai di antara Rasulullah S.A.W dengan wakil kaum Quraisy.
Tidak sedikit yang merasa ragu dengan perjanjian tersebut. Namun ternyata ada hikmahnya di sebalik kesediaan dan kesabaran Rasulullah S.A.W di dalam menerima perjanjian tersebut. Rupa-rupanya ‘jalan kemenangan sudah jelas nyata.’ Selepas sahaja termeterainya Perjanjian Hudaibiyyah, maka turunlah firman Allah S.W.T yang berbunyi:
Sesungguhnya Kami telah membuka bagi perjuanganmu (wahai Muhammad) satu jalan kemenangan yang jelas nyata.
Ayat ini menghilangkan keraguan umat Islam serta memperkuatkan lagi azam mereka bagi memastikan seruan untuk melakukan islah terlaksana.
Ketakwaan yang diadun bersama kesabaran dan kebijaksanaan adalah kunci utama untuk mengecap kejayaan. Janganlah keyakinan kita digugat tatkala kejayaan sudah hampir. Saya menyeru pencinta kebenaran agar perkukuhkan tekad perjuangan. Ingatlah anjuran Al Quran yang berbunyi:
Dan bagi (menjalankan perintah) Tuhanmu, maka hendaklah engkau bersabar (terhadap tentangan musuh)!
Perubahan yang ingin kita laksanakan bertapak di atas bongkah-bongkah yang kukuh, jauh sekali dari retorik kosong yang berasaskan kebencian dan persengketaan. Kita harus menyedari negara Malaysia bukannya ekabudaya. Kita harus memastikan negara ini tidak ditelan api asabiyyah dan karam dengan sikap taksub melulu. Ingatlah “siapa yang menyemai angin akan menuai badai.”
Sering saya ulangi pemerkasaan ekonomi tidak akan berjaya selagi mana kemajuan dan pembangunan didorong oleh nafsu serta tamak yang bukan kepalang. Pertumbuhan ekonomi dan kekayaan harus difahami dan dimaknai dengan pengertian yang lebih luas. Kekayaan tidak boleh berlegar di kalangan segelintir sahaja, ianya harus menjadi pendorong untuk membebaskan masyarakat dari penindasan dan kezaliman. Inilah yang kita tegaskan sebagai ekonomi yang manusiawi. Ekonomi yang dibangun di atas prinsip insan sebagai makhluk bermoral dan berakhlak, bukannya semata-mata homo economicus; yang hanya memburu kepentingan diri sendiri.
Syawal yang bakal menjelang pastinya disambut meriah oleh semua. Pun begitu hendaklah kita sentiasa wasatiyah dalam pendekatan, yakni bersederhana tanpa meminggirkan mereka yang tidak berkemampuan. Syawal adalah bulan kemenangan, bulan memupuk ukhuwah. Kemenangan mengharungi Ramadhan dirai dengan jalinan ukhuwah yang utuh sesama ummah. Kemenangan ini bukan sekadar melawan hawa nafsu sepanjang Ramadhan, sebaliknya diterjemahkan jua sebagai kemenangan menentang kezaliman dan menegakkan keadilan.
InshaAllah kemenangan yang diredhai menjadi milik kita pastinya, sebagaimana yang dijelaskan di dalam Al Quran,”ibarat pohon yang baik, akarnya teguh dan cabangnya menjulang ke langit (Ayat 24, Surah Ibrahim)”
Salam Eidulfitri 1429 Hijrah.
Minal ‘aidil wal faiziin.
Maaf zahir dan batin.
Ketua Umum Parti Keadilan Rakyat
Mr. Prime Minister, read Zaid Ibrahim’s letter and act to save what is left of your 5-year Administration
Posted by: dinobeano on: September 30, 2008
In: Democracy| Judiciary| Politics 23 Comments
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
On the eve of Eid Murbarak/Hari Lebaran, I urge you to read and understand the contents of your former Cabinet colleague Zaid Ibrahim’s letter. I cannot believe that you allowed Najib and Syed Hamid to put Raja Petra Kamaruddin under ISA and send him to Kamunting, Perak for a period of two years.
It is commonly known among bloggers especially that both Najib and Syed Hamid have personal axes to grind and Raja Petra has been giving them sleepless nights through his writings which appear on his web-blog, http://www.malaysia-today.net. What I can say about someone of your stature who can condone actions that are not acceptable to Islam because it violates the principles of justice. Ramadhan and Eid Mubarak prevent me from being brutal to you.
You have violated the tenets of Islam as embodied in the Qu’ran without compunction. Yet, your media dubs you as “Mr Nice Guy”, etc. It is time you redeem yourself and act. Otherwise, the very men in UMNO who used to kiss your hand will now put a dagger in your back. I am told, through the grapevine that they are deserting you by the dime and a dozen; they are supporting Najib who is your Brutus acting on the advice of the Iago of Malaysian politics and his reactionary and conservative supporters. Najib will challenge you, mark my word, Mr. Prime Minister.
As we all celebrate the end of Ramadhan with our families, Raja Petra Kamaruddin and other ISA detainees are languishing in Kamunting. If this is not unjust and cruel, what else can it be for you as Head of Government and your Cabinet colleagues including those mute and cowardly ministers from Malaysian Chinese Association(MCA), MIC (Malaysian Indian Congress) and Gerakan and others. Maybe the right word is “barbaric”. That should apply to both the Deputy Prime Minister and the Home Affairs. In addition, I would like to say this to Najib and Syed Hamid, “may you both rot in hell”. —Din Merican
Zaid Ibrahim writes open letter to PM
Sep 30, 08 1:53pm
In our proclamation of independence, our first prime minister gave voice to the lofty aspirations and dreams of the people of Malaya: that Malaya was founded on the principles of liberty and justice, and the promise that collectively we would always strive to improve the welfare and happiness of its people.
MCPXMany years have passed since that momentous occasion and those aspirations and dreams remain true and are as relevant to us today as they were then. This was made possible by a strong grasp of fundamentals in the early period of this nation.
The federal constitution and the laws made pursuant to it were well founded; they embodied the key elements of a democracy built on the rule of law. The Malaysian judiciary once commanded great respect from Malaysians and was hailed as a beacon for other nations.Our earlier prime ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn were truly leaders of integrity, patriots in their own right and most importantly, men of humility. They believed in and built this nation on the principles and values enunciated in our constitution.
Even when they had to enact the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960, they were very cautious and apologetic about it. Tunku stated clearly that the Act was passed to deal with the communist threat.
“My cabinet colleagues and I gave a solemn promise to Parliament and the nation that the immense powers given to the government under the ISA would never be used to stifle legitimate opposition and silent lawful dissent”, was what the Tunku said.
Our third prime minister, Tun Hussein Onn, reinforced this position by saying that the ISA was not intended to repress lawful political opposition and democratic activity on the part of the citizenry.
Government has failed the people
The events of the last three weeks have compelled me to review the way in which the ISA has been used. This exercise has sadly led me to the conclusion that the government has time and time again failed the people of this country in repeatedly reneging on that solemn promise made by Tunku Abdul Rahman.
This has been made possible because the government and the law have mistakenly allowed the minister of home affairs to detain anyone for whatever reason he thinks fit. This subjective discretion has been abused to further certain political interests.
History is the great teacher and speaks volumes in this regard. Even a cursory examination of the manner in which the ISA has been used almost from its inception would reveal the extent to which its intended purpose has been subjugated to the politics of the day.
Regrettably, Tunku Abdul Rahman himself reneged on his promise. In 1965, his administration detained Burhanuddin Helmi, the truly towering Malay intellectual, a nationalist who happened to be a PAS leader. He was kept in detention until his death in 1969. Helmi was a political opponent and could by no stretch of the imagination be considered to have been involved in the armed rebellion or communism that the ISA was designed to deal with.
This detention was an aberration, a regrettable moment where politics had been permitted to trump the rule of law. It unfortunately appears to have set a precedent and many detentions of persons viewed as having been threatening to the incumbent administration followed through the years.
Even our literary giant, ‘sasterawan negara’ the late Tan Sri A Samad Ismail was subjected to the ISA in 1976. How could he have been a threat to national security?
I need not remind you of the terrible impact of the 1987 Operasi Lalang. Its spectre haunts the government as much as it does the peace-loving people of this nation, casting a gloom over all of us. There were and still are many unanswered questions about those dark hours when more than a hundred persons were detained for purportedly being threats to national security. Why they were detained has never been made clear to Malaysians.
Similarly, no explanation has been forthcoming as to why they were never charged in court. Those detainees included amongst their numbers senior opposition members of parliament who are still active in Parliament today.
The only thing that is certain about that period was that UMNO was facing a leadership crisis. Isn’t it coincidental that the recent spate of ISA arrests has occurred when UMNO is again having a leadership crisis?
‘Militant’ Ezam back in UMNO
In 2001, Keadilan ‘reformasi’ activists were detained in an exercise that the Federal Court declared was in bad faith and unlawful. The continued detention of those that were not released earlier in the Kamunting detention facility was made possible only by the fact that the ISA had been questionably amended in 1988 to preclude judicial review of the minister’s order to detain.
Malaysians were told that these detainees had been attempting to overthrow the government via militant means and violent demonstrations. Seven years have gone and yet no evidence in support of this assertion has been presented. Compounding the confusion even further, one of these so-called militants, Ezam Mohamad Noor, recently rejoined UMNO to great fanfare, as a prized catch it would seem.
At around the same time, members of PAS were also detained for purportedly being militant and allegedly having links to international terrorist networks. Those detained included Nik Adli, the son of Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, the menteri besar of Kelantan. Malaysians were made a promise by the government that evidence of the alleged terrorist activities and links of these detainees would be disclosed. To date no such evidence has been produced.
The same formula was used in late 2007 when the Hindraf 5 were detained. Malaysians were told once again that these individuals were involved in efforts to overthrow the government and had links with the militant Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam of Sri Lanka. To date no concrete evidence have been presented to support this assertion.
It would seem therefore that the five were detained for their involvement in efforts that led to a mobilisation of Indian Malaysians to express, through peaceful means; their frustration against the way in which their community had been allowed to be marginalised. This cause has since been recognised as a legitimate one. The Hindraf demonstration is nothing extraordinary as such assemblies are universally recognised as being a legitimate means of expression.
In the same vein, the grounds advanced in support of the most recent detentions of Tan Hoon Cheng, Teresa Kok and Raja Petra Kamarudin leave much to be desired. The explanation that Tan Hoon Cheng was detained for her own safety was farcical. The suggestion that Teresa Kok had been inciting religious sentiments was unfounded as was evinced by her subsequent release.
As for Raja Petra Kamarudin, the prominent critic of the government, a perusal of his writings would show that he might have been insulting of the government and certain individuals within it.
However, being critical and insulting could not in any way amount to a threat to national security. If his writings are viewed as being insulting of Islam, Muslims or the Holy Prophet (pbuh), he should instead be charged under the Penal Code and not under the ISA.
In any event, he had already been charged for sedition and criminal defamation in respect of some of his statements. He had claimed trial, indicating as such his readiness and ability to defend himself. Justice would best be served by allowing him his day in court more so where, in the minds of the public, the government is in a position of conflict for having been the target of his strident criticism.
Law used against dissidents
The instances cited above strongly suggest that the government is undemocratic. It is this perspective that has over the last 25 plus years led to the government seemingly arbitrarily detaining political opponents, civil society and consumer advocates, writers, businessmen, students, journalists whose crime, if it could be called that, was to have been critical of the government.
How it is these individuals can be perceived as being threats to national security is beyond my comprehension. The self-evident reality is that legitimate dissent was and is quashed through the heavy-handed use of the ISA.
There are those who support and advocate this carte-blanche reading of the ISA. They will seek to persuade you that the interests of the country demand that such power be retained, that Malaysians owe their peace and stability to laws such as the ISA. This overlooks the simple truth that Malaysians of all races cherish peace. We lived together harmoniously for the last 400 years, not because of these laws but in spite of them.
I believe the people of this country are mature and intelligent enough to distinguish actions that constitute a ‘real’ threat to the country from those that threaten political interests. Malaysians have come know that the ISA is used against political opponents and, it would seem, when the leadership is under challenge either from within the ruling party or from external elements.
Malaysians today want to see a government that is committed to the court process to determine guilt or innocence even for alleged acts of incitement of racial or religious sentiment. They are less willing to believe, as they once did, that a single individual, namely the minister of home affairs; knows best about matters of national security.
They value freedom and the protection of civil liberties and this is true of people of other nations too.
I attempted to push for reform
Mr Prime Minister, the results of the last general election are clear indication that the people of Malaysia are demanding a reinstatement of the rule of law. I was appointed as your, albeit short-lived, minister in charge of legal affairs and judicial reform.
In that capacity, I came to understand more keenly how many of us want reform, not for the sake of it, but for the extent to which our institutions have been undermined by events and the impact this has had on society.
With your blessing, I attempted to push for reform. High on my list of priorities was a reinstatement of the inherent right of judicial review that could be enabled through a reversion of the key constitutional provision to its form prior to the controversial amendment in 1988.
I need not remind you that that constitutional amendment was prompted by the same series of events that led not only to Operasi Lalang but the sacking of the then Lord President and two supreme court justices.
Chief amongst my concerns was the way in which the jurisdiction and the power of the courts to grant remedy against unconstitutional and arbitrary action of the executive had been removed by Parliament and the extent to which this had permitted an erosion of the civil liberties of Malaysians.
It was this constitutional amendment that paved the way for the ouster provision in the ISA that virtually immunises the minister from judicial review, a provision which exemplifies the injustice the constitutional amendment of 1988 has lent itself.
I also sought to introduce means by which steps could be taken to assist the judiciary to regain the reputation for independence and competence it once had. Unfortunately, this was viewed as undesirable by some since an independent judiciary would mean that the executive would be less ‘influential’.
I attempted to do these things and more because of the realisation that Malaysia’s democratic traditions and the rule of law are under siege. Anyway, there is nothing wrong with giving everyone an independent judiciary and the opportunity to a fair trial.
This is consistent with the universal norms of human rights as it is with the tenets of Islam, the religion of the federation. Unchecked power to detain at the whim of one man is oppressiveness at its highest. Even in Israel, a nation that is perpetually at war the power to detain is not vested in one man and detention orders require endorsement from a judge.
If there are national security considerations, then these can be approached without jettisoning the safeguards intended to protect individual citizens from being penalised wrongfully. In other jurisdictions involved in armed conflicts, trials are held in camera to allow for judicial scrutiny of evidence considered too sensitive for public disclosure so as to satisfy the ends of justice.
If this can be done in these jurisdictions, why not here where the last armed struggle we saw, the very one that precipitated the need for the ISA, came to an end in the 1980s?
ISA was never intended to be permanent
Any doubts as to the continued relevance of the ISA in its present form should have been put to rest by the recommendation by the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) that the ISA be repealed and an anti-terror legislation suited to the times enacted in its place. Containing as it did a sunset clause in its original times, the ISA was never intended to be a permanent feature on the Malaysian legal landscape.
Through its continued use in the manner described above and in the face of public sentiment, it is only natural that the ISA has become in the mind of the people an instrument of oppression and the government is one that lends itself to oppressiveness.
Its continued use does not bode well for a society that is struggling to find its place in the global arena. It does not bode well for the democracy that is so vital for us to develop sustainably.
Mr Prime Minister, I remember very clearly what you once said; that if one has the opportunity to do what is good and right for the country, then he must take on the task. I respect you deeply for that and if I were confident that I would have been able to do some good for Malaysia, I would have remained on your team.
Sir, you are still the prime minister and you still have the opportunity to leave your footprint in Malaysian history. I urge you to do so by repealing the ISA once and for all.
Let us attempt to fulfil that solemn promise made by our beloved first prime minister to the people of this country.
Azly@ Columbia says: “Free Raja Petra Kamarudin and all the ISA detainees. Abolish the ISA”.
Posted by: dinobeano on: September 30, 2008
In: Democracy No Comments
Hadhari, Human rights, Hypocrisy
Azly Rahman firstname.lastname@example.org
The General Assembly proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member-States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.- Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948
Free Raja Petra Kamarudin and all the ISA detainees. Abolish the ISA. This is my appeal to the current regime.
How do we continue to live with the contradiction of being a ratifier of the UDHR and still hold on to the Internal Security Act (ISA) as an instrument of oppression? At home, how must we live with this hypocrisy of jailing without trial our noble citizens such as Raja Petra Kamaruddin and yet abroad speak out against Guantanamo Bay in the platform of world affairs?
When Malaysian leaders go abroad and give speeches at the United Nations or the Malaysian embassies for example, they often argue that Malaysians have their own way of dealing with human rights issues.They say that culturally Malaysians are different than, say the American or the Britons. Human rights is a subjective issue that needs subjective interpretation, as the argument goes.
The way the government deals with freedom of speech for example includes the stubborn political will to keep the ISA intact as an instrument of the country’s ‘right’ to maintain peace and security.
When Malaysian leaders are abroad and speak to Malaysians at dinner gatherings, for example, they often argue that other countries do not have the right to meddle into the affairs of another nation.
The US therefore is warned not to comment on Malaysian politics. Al Gore and Condoleezza Rice are to be scorned for making statements about the reformasi demonstrations on Malaysian streets and on the trial of Anwar Ibrahim, respectively.
At home, however, Malaysian leaders ironically love to rally for the cause of others - from the abolition of apartheid in South Africa or for the plight of the Palestinians. Well and good. These are universal issues of human rights of which we ought to be aware.
We speak up for the rights of the Bosnians, the Chechens, the Palestinians, and Pattani Malays. I do not know whether the former Yugoslavs, the Russians, the Israelis, and the Thais have warned Malaysians not to meddle into the politics of the respective countries.
Isn’t upholding and protecting of human rights the job of all citizens of the world? Did we not speak out against Guantanamo Bay, as millions of Americans have been doing; Americans who themselves are fed up with the war-mongering Bush-Cheney regime?
Refusal to understand
Herein lies our hypocrisy within the context of our proclaimed ideology of Islam Hadhari and the right to talk about human rights. We are living with an outdated version of the Mahathir-Lee Kuan Yew interpretation of human rights vis-a-vis political and economic stability.
The ISA is used on citizens these days as part of a way to ensure that power, ideology, and hegemony is maintained for the rights of the few and to sustain the right to dehumanise others.
The question for educators like me is: how will the continuing existence of the British colonial legacy of the ISA create a progressive, liberal, intelligent, wise, and just Malaysia? How do we mediate the false dichotomy between the ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ interpretations of human rights?
Malaysia is a signatory to the UDHR including:
- Article 9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
- Article 10: Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
I believe the much trumpeted brand of Islam the current regime is promoting, Islam Hadhari, is anti-civilisation in the way human right is vis-a-vis the ISA detentions.
It is anti-Islam when those who are detained are fighting for social, economic justice and as Islam requires, to speak truth to power in combating corruption.
To jail those who expose wrongdoings bring Islam Hadhari back to the age of pre-Islamic Jahiliyyah (Age of Ignorance). Indeed, we are being hypocrites when we continue to keep and use the instrument of oppression left behind by the oppressors. We continue to let the current regime refine the instrument.
Setting aside the truncated mindset of the Malaysian leaders, the people must recognise the critical importance of the awareness and maintenance of human rights throughout the world.
We must believe that the definition, creation, and dissemination of human rights norms can bridge the gaps between countries, ensure that individual’s human rights are respected, and pave the way for a more peaceful world.
And, as the countries of our world become increasingly more interconnected, the call for universal human rights standards could not be more important.
We are hypocrites living in an ideology of Hadhari. We seem to refuse to understand what the idea of the universality of human rights means. We cannot progress in this area unless we live by such principles of human rights - the one that we too ratified.
I APPEAL TO THE MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT TO RELEASE RAJA PETRA KAMARUDIN IMMEDIATELY AND UNCONDITIONALLY AND RELEASE ALL THE ISA DETAINEES AS WELL AND CONSEQUENTLY REPEAL THE ISA AND ALL OTHER INTOLERABLE ACTS
REPLACE THE ISA with the INTELLECTUAL SUSTAINABILITY ACT INSTEAD.
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION: http://www.petitiononline.com/isa1234/petition.html